Presented on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. Sam Clemens began his professional life as a "printer's devil," an apprentice in a Hannibal shop - and throughout his life he kept up a keen interest in every phase of printing and publishing. Living through the most dramatic changes in those media since the time of the Gutenbergs, he tried to be a leader and a tycoon in these new industries. In his prime years, as an author, he involved himself in the entire process of making a book. How id these interests affect the way that Mark Twain wrote? What did he see as the possibilities of a printed book - as a multimedia experience, a national or global sensation, and a cultural force? Amid a storm of printed words and pictures, how do his hopes and fears about this media revolution turn up as important themes in his most memorable books?
Bruce Michelson is author of Claude Monet: The Water-Lilies, and Other Writings on Art (2017), Printer's Devil: Mark Twain and the American Publishing Revolution (2006), Literary Wit (2000), Mark Twain on the Loose: A Comic Writer and the American Self (1995), and over thirty articles and book chapters.